#YouthObligation: DWP confirms Work Experience, Traineeships & Sector Based Work Academy now mandatory

With the introduction of the Youth Obligation benefit scheme, today the DWP released internal guidance confirming previously ‘voluntary’ the back to work schemes:

  1. Work expereince*
  2. Traineeships
  3. Sector based work academy

are all now mandatory for young aged 18 to 21, when not in employment or undertaking an apprenticeship and have been claiming Universal Credit full service (UCFS) for six months. With this framework apprenticeships are also mandatory as failing to start one within 6 months of being on UCFS mean 1 ,2 and 3 will be mandated, with £ sanctions if declined.

We’ll be using work experience much more creatively” [making it mandatory]
Source: Speech – New DWP Secretary of State, Stephen Crabb, outlines his priorities on welfare reform.  12 April 2016

DWP internal guidance:

“Youth Obligation – mandatory participation…

Claimants who are still in the IWSR (Intensive Work Search Regime),
who have not taken up an apprenticeship and are still not in employment at the 6 month point will be expected to start one of the following:

–  traineeship (or equivalent in Scotland and Wales),

–  sector based work academy (or equivalent in Scotland and Wales),

–  3 month guaranteed work experience to give them the skills they need to
move into sustainable employment.

If the claimant fails to undertake any of the mandatory elements above, a
[sanction] might apply”
Source: DWP FoI response -3rd May 2017


Youth Workfare: Direct Action and Campaigning Against

“Suggested actions and considerations, from the 2016 Welfare Action Gathering workshop on The Future of Workfare, specific to the Youth Obligation/Workfare for 18 to 21 years olds: Undertake a Welfare Action Gathering dedicated to young people, whilst caution expressed about…” Continue reading

*Note: Historically the DWP has used the term ‘work placement‘, when referring to mandatory no wage forced-labour (workfare) for benefits. Just like the 6 month full time no wage Community Work Placement (CWP) scheme abused the commonly held understanding of ‘Community Work’, the DWP is seeking to again deliberately con by using the term ‘work experience’ to conflate this compulsory workfare, with the 500,000+ ‘voluntary’ no wage work experience places jobcentres have offered since 2011.

Anti workfare campaigners have not given much attention to ‘voluntary’ forms of workfare, the DWP has used this lack of resistance to set up an entire system of forced-labour built upon 500,000+ trojan horses. Worryingly the Guardian recently sent the term workfare down a memory hole and could not even bring itself to call no wage forced unpaid labour for benefits as workfare.

Join Boycott Workfare‘s campaign against forced-unpaid-labour and sign up to Keep Volunteering Voluntary.